Pedal Spring replacment

Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 09:58 AM

Hello Everyone,

I am posting 4 pictures. The first 3 pictures are from a broken pedal spring that belongs to an Ackerman console. I could not find the model or serial number anywhere on the piano. It is the only Ackerman that I have ever tuned so, I don't know the history of the piano either.

Does anybody know where I can get a replacement for these?

The fourth picture is what Schaff suggests I replace it with.. Seems to me that given the angle of their pedal spring compared to the old one that the tension on the pedal with their spring would be significantly more.

Your thoughts and suggestions please?



I moved a little bit but, you get the drift.





Number 593 in the Schaff Catalog. The one they want me to replace it with...



Posted by: Emmery

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 11:00 AM

Jerry, the replacement might tension up more but if you have a bench grinder/belt sander, removing a bit of material to thin the metal out at the bend areas will weaken the tension if its too much. Just grind for a few seconds and let it cool before continuing. I've done this on a few replacement springs and it works pretty good.

(Added) You can also use the Norris spring from Schaff if there is room to put on an offset block to raise it. Put the pedal rod and upper parts together to determine the height/angle needed.


Posted by: Johnkie

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 11:25 AM

Hi Jerry - these u springs are very common here in the UK and can be ordered from either Fletcher & Newman or Heckscher and Co ..... both of which are in London.
Posted by: TunerJeff

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 12:17 PM

Dear Jerry,

The Schaff replacement is very common in US-pianos and works well enough. You can adjust the amount of tension by changing the length of the pedal-dowel and the placement of the spring on the bottom board. I prefer to avoid bending the spring to change things. Vary the dowel length.

Start long (...on the dowel) and you can trim quickly to add more tension. Every time you shorten it a little; you'll add more compression to the spring as you crank the trap-lever up to the new position. You can go from barely lifting the pedal to quite-firm tension in an inch or two of change.

The geometry of placement on the bottom board should stay about the same as the old spring. You need to watch the pedal stroke to the dowel-lift, but placing the spring right where the old one is attached should work. If you want more lift at the working end (...more damper movement) just move the spring a little closer to the pedal on the lever. Small shifts make large changes, so be cautious or you'll get more than you want!

It's not a big deal, boss. Quick work. I prefer to attach the spring to the lever, put in the dowel, and then play carefully with the placement of the spring on the bottom board with all that in place. You want that dowel as vertical as possible going to the action. Once you are close; mark one screw-hole with a short pencil (I just snap a regular pencil short enough to fit). Pull the lever. Drill the mark. Attach the spring to the bottom board with that one screw and make final adjustment; then mark the second screw-hole. Remove the lever and drill the second. You want everything out of the way, because you want a clean vertical hole when drilling in the bottom board.

No worries, mate!

Respectfully,
I remain,
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 07:19 PM

Sounds like a PITA Jeffrey... I'm not crazy about re-bending it either let alone repositioning it. Like Phillips heads. Can't they just make them all the same?

I just sent an email to Fletcher & Newman to see if they have an identical one. If so, I'll order a few of them "just in case" if it isn't scads of money to ship it here...

Thanks everyone for your input.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 07:39 PM

You might see if there is a blacksmith in your area. Something like that would only take a few minutes to make.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 08:44 PM

You might also want to try consulting with a local welder and see whether or not he thinks he can add a bead or even a little more material where its broken. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, it doesn't. The cost should be minimal, or maybe even free if you have a friend who's a knowledgeable welder.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 09:25 PM

The problem is that it is bend smack dab in the middle of the bend Joe. The weakest part of the bend.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 11:04 PM

Yep, the pivot area is where it will break. I can just tell you that I have twice had odd-shaped springs/pivots welded successfully (though not that exact shape). They're still going. Just describe to the welder how the spring works and see what he thinks. Asking is free. smile

And again, maybe the welder will suggest tacking on an additional metal piece where the bend is.

Your best bet would, of course, be to replace with new like Johnkie suggests. But if you cannot find a match...

Good luck! smile
Posted by: SimplyBrendan

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 11:36 PM

In South Africa this is also a common spring. Many British piano makes like Kemble, Squire etc use them. I've had exactly the same break in the same type spring and welding it doesn't help one bit. For a few months maybe. The pedal will eventually get weaker to pedal and break again.

It is interesting for me to see Schaff's replacement part.
(Interesting also how similar Old Colonial countries...The British empire and South Africa are related then and now.)
I need to travel!
Posted by: BDB

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/14/12 11:41 PM

If I had some junker pianos lying around, I might adapt the mechanism from one of them. Or since the election is over, I might use some of the wire from political signs to make a suitable spring. I have used that wire for other projects.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 11:10 AM

Originally Posted By: SimplyBrendan
In South Africa this is also a common spring. Many British piano makes like Kemble, Squire etc use them. I've had exactly the same break in the same type spring and welding it doesn't help one bit. For a few months maybe. The pedal will eventually get weaker to pedal and break again.

It is interesting for me to see Schaff's replacement part.
(Interesting also how similar Old Colonial countries...The British empire and South Africa are related then and now.)
I need to travel! [Emphasis added]


Just curious and for my own future reference...

When you had them welded, did the welder also stitch additional metal over the break? That is, attach the two pieces so they fit together like they originally did, and then cover with an additional piece of metal over the break?

Thanks.
Posted by: SimplyBrendan

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 11:36 AM

Sadly not daniokeeper... A bit of metal on the inside of the spring and brazed the spring in place. It maybe could have made a difference to the longevity of the spring, but replacing it should have been the correct way to deal with it. These springs are all I see in pianos, so getting hold of the one I eventually replaced it with was easier than having the damn thing welded/brazed.
And I wouldn't have looked stupid down the line either.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 12:04 PM

If these pianos, with these types of springs are going to be sold here in America, then the parts should be readily accessible too and they are not. This not only creates a HUGE headache for the piano technician who has to go to great lengths spending a tremendous amount of time attempting to find a solution for a stupid pedal spring that Shaff, PianoTek and other places here, do not carry or apparently, are not even willing to locate for us, as techs. To me, it is a big waste of time that we could be spending on something else but what other options were left to me?

This spring happened to be the sustaining pedal. I took the pedal spring off from the middle pedal which is now dangling down doing nothing. Maybe, if I do wind up getting Schaff's pedal spring, it will more than likely, go where the middle pedal spring was, seeing as that is the least useful of the three pedals. But, I am not done trying to locate one of these. So far no response from the company in the UK either.
Posted by: daniokeeper

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 12:55 PM

Originally Posted By: SimplyBrendan
Sadly not daniokeeper... A bit of metal on the inside of the spring and brazed the spring in place. It maybe could have made a difference to the longevity of the spring, but replacing it should have been the correct way to deal with it. These springs are all I see in pianos, so getting hold of the one I eventually replaced it with was easier than having the damn thing welded/brazed.
And I wouldn't have looked stupid down the line either.


Of course, new is usually better. I agree 100%. But sometimes new isn't available, especially when you are dealing with non-standardized parts on old pianos.

Thanks for the reply smile
-Joe
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 02:41 PM

A poster here, not sure if he wants his name mentioned or not so I won't mention it unless they pop in and say something themselves has offered to send me a brand new spring identical to the one that I posted above that they just happen to have in their possession! So, I'm in luck!!!

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

Jer
Posted by: David Jenson

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 04:19 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
... I might use some of the wire from political signs to make a suitable spring. I have used that wire for other projects.
Ha ha. 'Didn't know anyone else did that. I use it for everything from tool hangers, to fashioning a nifty hook to catch chickens.
Posted by: Jerry Groot RPT

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/15/12 06:18 PM

Catch chickens???
Posted by: AndyJ

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/16/12 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Catch chickens???

They can be damn hard to catch! My wife agreed to keep an eye on our neighbor's chickens while they were out of town for a week or so. The hen-house was somewhat clumsily built, evidently with materials at hand that included the door. It all worked fine, but the door swung from the wrong side. So when one of those birds escaped, we couldn't coax her back in: the door opened to block the opening rather than to invite the old girl home.

My wife chased that bird around for half an hour. Then I donned my leather blacksmith's gloves and gave it a try, aided by a stick and a drywall bucket. At one point this hen was spread out between the back of the porch glider and the front wall of the house, but even in that compromised position she never let me grab hold of her.

My wife apologized for the hen's escape when the neighbors returned. They said "don't worry about it, that happens to us sometimes too. If we can't catch them, we just shoot them and them."
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/16/12 01:47 PM

Chickens. Just wait for dusk, and they go back to their hen-house without any prompting. At least all the ones I've known did.
Posted by: AndyJ

Re: Pedal Spring replacment - 11/17/12 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By: spanishbuddha
Chickens. Just wait for dusk, and they go back to their hen-house without any prompting. At least all the ones I've known did.

We'd have had to leave the door open, though, releasing the rest of the hens. We weren't willing to take the chance that coyotes, foxes or dogs would get some before they made it back home.